Shrink It & Pink It: Lady Leadership


Spoke & Hub

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. ~Audrey Lorde

Dear Readers,

I am going to return to recent events in a few days, but I need to finish this post first. Nothing is sweeter is to my ears than the Baltimore accent calling me “Hon”–male or female. You should read about the Bali Nine. Thank you in advance for reading my thoughts when there are far greater things to think about today.

Up until recently, I thought my husband had taught me the marketing phrase “shrink it and pink it.” When I mentioned it to him, he said, “No, I learned that from you. Remember when you got kind of pissy at a bike shop when everything was pink and pretty? Don’t you remember going off about the ways they shrink and…

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kgitch on inspiration

Find your element – Live a fulfilling life

Have you found your element? Do you find satisfaction in your life and what you do? Recently, I’ve been working on fully developing my own element and thought I’d share the links that inspired me this week.

As an educator and mentor, I have discovered that my element is creating a conduit of discovery. I am driven to provide an environment that ignites and supports this exploration. Whether it is providing classes that spark ideas, developing curriculum that encourages discovery, creating art with women that is meaningful or volunteering my time and resources to the young people in my life; my element is being a part of and seeing others light up.

Powerful Words:

On Monday, Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education, blogged suggesting that after years of Gallup research the new Bill of Rights for All Students should be:

Every student in the world, from pre-K to higher ed, needs: 

-Someone who cares about their development

-To do what they like to do each day

-To do what they are best at every day

This speaks to me on so many levels and doesn’t stop at education’s door.  I look to the people I interact with on a daily basis.  What can I do as a leader to care about their development? Do I know whether they are doing what they like and are best at? If I don’t know, then it’s time to do so.

Book love!  

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Sir Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica is available for downloading/buying!!! You can read the full exert here.

If you know what your Element is, you’re more likely to find ways to make a living at it. Meanwhile, it is vitally important, especially when money is tight, for organizations to have people doing what is truly meaningful to them. An organization with a staff that’s fully engaged is far more likely to succeed than one with a large portion of its workforce detached, cynical and uninspired.

Find your element. Understand yourself and what you are capable of. Do what you are best at. Discover your purpose in life. Work in your element. This book is full of tools, thoughtful questions and exercises that focus on your own personal element. I want to do everything really fast to get to the end, but have slowed myself down and have decided to thoughtfully implement each of the guiding processes.

Food for Thought:

Years after his first TEDx apearance, Sir Ken Robinson gives us another inspirational talk. Shown a few weeks ago on PBS – TEDtalks Education “How to Escape Education’s Death Valley” focuses on how the current education model is going the opposite direction from of how human life flourishes. His humor, illustrative talking and ideas make this 19 minute video worth your time.
The real role of leadership in education should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control – creating a climate of possibility. If you do that, people will rise to it and achieve things that you did not anticipate or expect.  … There’s a wonderful quote from Benjamin Franklin – There are three sorts of people in the world.  Those that are immovable (they don’t get it, they’re not going to get it, they’re not going anywhere), those that are movable (those who see the need for change and are prepared for it), and those that move (people who make things happen). If we can encourage more people, that will be a movement. And if the movement is strong enough, that is, in the best sense of the word, a revolution.
Leadership Inspiration: 
So how do we get there? How do we motivate others as innovators? George Couros (@gcouros) wrote 10 Ideas To Move Innovation Forward which focuses on how educators can create new opportunities for learning with these ten steps.

Have a clear vision

Model what you want to see

Break it down into smaller steps

Help people move from their “point A” to “point B”

Work with people 1-on-1

Promote champions

Share! Share! Share!

Model and promote risk taking

Find the balance of “pressure and support”

Always remember that we are in the “people” business

When I read that blog post this morning, I took the educator hat off and concentrated on how these ideas could enhance my role as a leader, a coordinator, a member of my community and as a person.

Creating an environment that promotes the best, allows life to flourish, and encourages sharing, risks, balance.  To me, this is a innovative way to live in my element.

kgitch share: Video – Connected Learning: Essence

I love my twitter feed.  This afternoon, DML Research Hub (@dmlresearchhub – Digital Media & Learning Research Hub based in California) tweeted out a link to a set of videos they commissioned in 2012 regarding “connected learning”.

After watching this short 7+ minute video, the thoughts that hit home to me and my role as an educator were:

We need to teach everyone, not just the basics, but teach everyone to be creative

The possibility of contribution is everywhere – in a cafe across the world, there are experts

More importantly, this is the question I am asking myself tonight:

How can I contribute in helping children possess a “burning need to know”?

You can also watch this on Vimeo (

kgitch on yielding


Ambiguity by Lori Greig // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There is a shifting paradigm that is occurring in my days and with it brings change. For me, this means I’ve reached the metaphorical yield sign.  I have slowed down, I am looking both ways, adjusting to the speed of the traffic coming my direction and will have to turn left or right depending on the directions I am given.  Right now, as I write this post, I still am not sure which way I am going. Though my hand is poised over the turn signal waiting to see how bad the traffic is and how clear the road may be in either direction.

When I do turn, I’ll drop in and let you know where I’m headed so that you can see if you want to tag along with me.


When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor E. Frankl

Change brings opportunity. ~Nido Qubein

kgitch asks: Remember who you wanted to be?

I admit it. I was am the worst student.  Well, to teachers who only teach line by line, in order, all together – no deviation!  I’ve always found fault in the assembly line, even in elementary teaching; I would change my program to meet the need of the student. I like to think that I flipped my classroom in the 90’s before it was the catch phrase of the year.

I remember taking a Microsoft Word Beginners class, required by work in late ’90s, because I had left elementary teaching and “had no real show-able skills” and a certificate would help…  I’d been using the program for years, and shared that with the instructor when I came in, wondering if there was an assessment she could give me to move me forward. Of course, there wasn’t. Even worse? The instructor wanted everyone to follow along step by step, everyone performing the exact motions as her, the ENTIRE 5 hour class.  At the first break, I produced all the assignments in the book and asked her if she would give me the certificate early. Not sure if she was more annoyed that I challenged her plan or relieved to get me out of the classroom, she gave me the certificate and I happily left. When I look back on that class, I wonder why she didn’t ask me to help her with the students who obviously needed one on one? As a former computer instructor in job readiness, I always asked those in my classes with more experience to assist.  Sigh.

So, where was I? Oh right, I was not the ideal student… I was the person doing three things at that same time; frustrating the teachers because I turned in the assignments they wanted, in addition to doing what I wanted. Actually, what I was doing was writing. Notes, stories, poems. Thoughts, ideas, dreams. I wrote my way through long hours of school from the 5th grade all the way through my sophomore year of college.  It was during my sophomore year that one of my teachers told me that writing was not a great way to make a living and that I should really focus on getting skills to make it in the world. Sigh.

Do you remember who you wanted to be, before you found out that it wasn’t the right path, or the dream that your folks wanted, or the current hot trend in making money? I do.

Here’s some of the videos that I watched in 2012 that inspired me to remember.

You have something amazing to share:

Fear: Someone else’s ideas/work/product is MUCH better than mine, so why should I try?

Truth: What is obvious to you, AMAZING to someone else.

What would you do if money were no object?

How would you really enjoy spending your life? Talk by Alan Watts

Stop stealing dreams

We are taught to always keep something inside of us, because someone will ask for more. It will never be enough.  Example: Raise your hand as high as you can. Now raise it higher. You could, couldn’t you? Why? Seth Godin at TEDxYouth@BFS  On the future of education & what we can do about it.

RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms

I absolutely love the visual of this video – the drawing and the connection to Sir Ken Robinson’s speech is powerful.  Kudos!

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

I am honestly stunned by all the people that have NOT heard of Sir Ken Robinson, so this has been out since 2007 and you should watch it! 🙂 TedX

kgitch the journey begins

During the last year of researching, reading, watching, following and learning, I have found that there is an amazing group of people that are exploring something new in the world of education. I’m attracted to the change makers, the thinkers who challenge the tried and true. What I find is that they open my thoughts to how I want to create and educate. In a world where a new app or program or method is created each day, I am thrilled to be learning at this time. Will every new idea or technology work in my classrooms or in my work? Probably not, but I will guarantee that there will be learning involved, improvement made and a new process created because of that failure.

As I research, test, and learn, I am excited to have this forum to write and talk with others about my journey. I invite you to join me, be a part of my personal learning network – converse, tweet and share.

The Future of Learning, Networked Society – Ericsson